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North Korean human rights abuses

At a Glance 22-02-2018

In February 2018, the world was exposed to cheerful images of Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, smiling and shaking hands with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, and of North and South Koreans marching together under the same flag, while an all-female squad of cheerleaders dressed in red occasionally upstaged the athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Against this charm offensive, a few dozen kilometres north, far from the spotlight, up to 120 000 political prisoners continued experiencing ...

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools.

North Korea has stepped up its nuclear plans with the underground detonation of a hydrogen bomb and tests of its first suspected Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), moves perceived as a major threat to global security. Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on 19 September, US President Donald Trump threatened to 'totally destroy' North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies against that country. The isolated communist regime of Kim Jong-un has continued ...

North Korea: Possible scenarios

Briefing 12-09-2017

On 3 September 2017, North Korea conducted a sixth nuclear test, its most powerful yet, claiming to have successfully tested a miniaturised hydrogen bomb that would fit in an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The North Korean crisis, which has a long history, has now the potential to develop into a large-scale conflict affecting a large variety of actors across the globe. Pyongyang has become a global threat combining increasingly sophisticated nuclear weapons and missiles programmes that ...

North Korea's propaganda strategy

Briefing 04-10-2016

The internationally isolated regime of the Democratic Popular Republic of Korea (or North Korea) needs to build consensus around the idea that, under the direction of a young dynamic leader, the nation's living standards have improved amidst vivid economic and technological growth. North Koreans are often forced to contribute their free labour to campaigns, as a way to attest their devotion to the nation and help make it stronger in the face of its external enemies. Kim Jong Un's coming to power ...

Since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria, Iran has been a steadfast supporter of Bashar al-Assad's regime, and ensuring its survival is Iran's primary objective. This is unsurprising, given that Tehran needs a friendly regime in Damascus to protect its strategic interests in the region. At the same time, there is an expectation of more constructive engagement from Iran following the signature of the nuclear deal with E3/EU+3 countries.

After an ill-received attempt to mediate between the parties, Ankara took sides against Assad's regime. The Turkish government is increasingly involved in the fight against the self-proclaimed 'Islamic State' – ISIL/Da'esh, but remains firmly opposed to a role for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the post-war arrangement. The conflict has serious implications for Turkey, home to more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees. Against this backdrop, the EU and Turkey are trying to forge a new partnership ...

Since its beginnings in 2011, the conflict in Syria has cost more than 250 000 lives, and over 4 million Syrians have been forced to seek security in neighbouring countries – primarily in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon – and Europe. A further 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria. The rise of ISIL/Da'esh and other jihadist groups has aggravated the situation. However, despite the humanitarian and security crisis, progress towards a United Nations (UN) negotiated political settlement ...

Conflict in Syria

At a Glance 02-10-2015

Since its beginnings in 2011, the conflict in Syria has cost more than 250 000 lives and over 4 million Syrians have been forced to seek security in neighbouring countries – primarily in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. A further 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria. The rise of ISIL/Da'esh and other jihadist groups has aggravated the situation. Despite this humanitarian and security crisis, however, progress towards a political settlement to the conflict has been slow.